THE MAJORITY of construction sites across Worcestershire have failed basic health and safety spot-checks.
A total of 14 out of the 23 inspections conducted during a month-long drive by the Health and Safety Executive resulted in site bosses being asked to make changes.
Four prohibition notices, which means work must stop immediately until a safety breach is rectified, and ten improvement notices were issued while over the border in Warwickshire 21 site visits resulted in one prohibition and two improvement notices.
More than 100 sites across the Midlands were visited and unacceptable conditions and dangerous practices were found in nearly half of them while formal enforcement action was required at one in five.
HSE bosses said many of the issues could have been easily prevented with straightforward management and planning while failure to provide basic safety measures for people working at height was the most common issue found by inspectors.
Chief of construction Philip White said: “These results show that whilst the majority of employers in the refurbishment sector are getting it right, a significant part of the industry is seriously failing its workers.
“The inability to properly plan working at height continues to be a major issue, despite well-known safety measures being straightforward to implement.
“We also find health is often overlooked as its implications are not immediately visible, however the effects of uncontrolled exposure to deadly dusts such as asbestos and silica can be irreversible. We urge industry to ensure the most basic of measures such as use of protective equipment and dust suppression methods are put in place to help protect the future health of workers.
“We need to continue to educate the industry through initiatives like this and encourage a change in behaviour on small projects where over half the industry’s fatal accidents still occur and many workers become seriously ill.”